The James Beard Award winning chef and co-owner of Philadelphia's Zahav restaurant reinterprets the glorious cuisine of Israel for American home kitchens. Read more...
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The James Beard Award winning chef and co-owner of Philadelphia's Zahav restaurant reinterprets the glorious cuisine of Israel for American home kitchens.
Ever since he opened Zahav in 2008, chef Michael Solomonov has been turning heads with his original interpretations of modern Israeli cuisine, attracting notice from the New York Times, Bon Appetit, ("an utter and total revelation"), and Eater ("Zahav defines Israeli cooking in America").Zahav showcases the melting-pot cooking of Israel, especially the influences of the Middle East, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. Solomonov's food includes little dishes called mezze, such as the restaurant's insanely popular fried cauliflower; a hummus so ethereal that it put Zahav on the culinary map; and a pink lentil soup with lamb meatballs that one critic called "Jerusalem in a bowl." It also includes a majestic dome of Persian wedding rice and a whole roasted lamb shoulder with pomegranate and chickpeas that's a celebration in itself. All Solomonov's dishes are brilliantly adapted to local and seasonal ingredients.Zahav tells an authoritative and personal story of how Solomonov embraced the food of his birthplace. With its blend of technique and passion, this book shows readers how to make his food their own."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-06-15
- Reviewer: Staff
After stints working with chef Marc Vetri in Philadelphia and as head chef at Marigold Kitchen, Solomonov developed a passion for Israeli cooking and his desire to show the full breadth of the cuisine began to take shape; he started his own restaurant, Zahav, in Philadelphia in 2008. Six years later, he won the James Beard award for best chef in the Mid-Atlantic region. Solomonov shares his story as well as his wide-ranging approach to Israeli cuisine in this impressive collection of recipes that are sure to challenge readers’ preconceptions. In addition to kibbe, kugel, latke, and rugelach, Solomonov offers chicken albondigas, the Spanish tapas standard; cashew baklava cigars; and the Chocolate Almond Situation, his riff on the flourless chocolate cake. To these stunningly simple dishes he adds deliciously decadent fare such as duck and foie gras kebabs, and beluga lentil soup with marrow bones. Solomonov isn’t one for showmanship (or waste—the juices from his Israeli salad of cucumber, tomato, parsley and lemon are added to gin to create an unusual martini), and virtually all the book’s recipes are within the reach of novice cooks. The reader’s biggest challenge will likely be mastering the ubiquitous tehina sauce used as a foundation for hummus and as an accent in countless dishes. Readers with an adventurous palate and an open mind will be richly rewarded by this terrific debut. Agent: David Black, David Black Agency. (Oct.)